I entitled this record "Simple Song," with a wink and a grin. My aim was to create a theatre album where I could bring the appropriate theatricality to each of these pieces as though I were simply performing them live and on stage, honoring their respective dramatic situations and contexts. As American classics, I feel these theater songs demand a certain attention be paid to their design to tell a specific story. I've been lucky enough to enjoy performing a number of these songs on Broadway and have combined them with other pieces that have inspired me to become a better actor and singer. I hope you enjoy these songs as much as I...and delight in their complexities.
Is a simple song really all that simple? Matt Bogart knows the answer. Intuitively, he understands the complexity beneath the surface of a simple song and that it needs no embellishment, no ego-driven interpretation. Matt allows the essence of a song to be heard and thus appreciated all the more. When a singer trusts a song enough to not cloud its lyric with unnecessary subtext or crowd its melody with extraneous adornment, that's when I sit up and listen. That's when a singer gets my respect. Matt's naturalness is part and parcel of his Midwestern background. He'll tell you he's just a farm boy, really. What he won't tell you is that he's a runway-model gorgeous farm boy who happens to be an extraordinary musical actor, quickly becoming one of the hottest young talents on Broadway. He's not a "look-at-me" performer, and, because of that, you can't keep your eyes off of him. Matt is humble and utterly lacking in pretension. This serves him well---and the shows in which he has starred. I won't make Matt out to be devoid of complications--- I'm lucky enough to be his friend and to have written for him---I've more than an inkling of how deep the waters run. He has experienced and can communicate heartbreak, longing and loneliness, anger and pure joy. A simple song really isn't all that simple, and neither is Matt. But I envy his gift of being able to trust simplicity, and I cherish it. You will, too.
-Michael John LaChiusa
Matt has appeared on Broadway as Radames in Tim Rice and Elton John's Aida, originating Frank Wildhorn's The Civil War ; as Chris in Miss Saigon; and as the White Guy in Smokey Joe's Cafe released for television, home video and DVD. Regionally, Matt appeared opposite Linda Eder as Paul Claudel in Camille Claudel at the Goodspeed Opera House, at the Kennedy Center Sondheim Celebration as Paul in Company, at the Arena Stage as Lancelot in Camelot, at Paper Mill Playhouse as Billy Bigelow in Carousel and Lancelot in Camelot, at Signature Theatre as Starbuck in 110 in the Shade and Terry in Side Show, and the Alley Theatre. Also in NYC, Matt has workshopped shows with Lincoln Center Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York Theatre Workshop and The York Theatre. He trained at the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). Matt's other recordings are also on the Jay Records label at JAYRecords.com. which include I Sing (original cast recording), Sean McDermott's Piece of Sky, Kim Criswell's Something To Dance About, The Musicality of Jerome Kern, the Musicality of Cole Porter and the Musicality of Kander & Ebb.